Women are catty / I am enlightened

Which is why I have always gotten along so much better with males. When I shared my feelings with HUD about why I think the majority of the girl friends/wives of his guy friends hate me; HUD told me something akin to, “don’t worry about it, baby,”


…and then proceeded to explain why he did not want to hear it; continually saying, “don’t allow that negative energy to make you feel bad” (or something like that).  It’s a refreshing thing sometimes when I am reminded of his beautiful outlook on life; albeit, many times, after I have expressed how I feel about something such as this, he reminds me that he does not care about the outside world.

you and me

When I gripe about how something (in this case, females, treat me as if I am a person with some sort of contagious disease) upsets me, something “trivial,” that is, HUD expresses that all that concerns him, is the world he shares with me and the pups. That makes me feel special. I am his number one priority…after the priority he has to himself, of course. My happiness is what he strives to obtain. Still, it unnerves me when he is so indifferent about the things that are causing me to feel negatively. I know he cares about me and how I feel; it is infuriating to me when he deems the feeling(s) I have as one(s) that are able to be forgotten.

As I was saying, when I shared my feelings with HUD about how the majority of the females in his guy friends life treated me when we were spending time with a group of them last night; HUD dismissed it and told me that I should not allow the negative energy that they let out to affect me. Honestly, I am not at all interested in being accepted into their “club.” Meaning, I do not want to be a typical female (like the females of this group of whom I speak are your ‘TYPICAL’ females).

girl fight drama - Copy

I feel as if I am shunned…it has always been this way with me and women. I’ve always had male friends because of this. HUD told me that I have always had guy friends because I am hot and the females are just jealous. THAT did not help me. At all. True, the majority of males who I have befriended, begin the friendship with me and they have different motives. BUT NOT ME! My motives are of the most pure and innocent intent.

I have a select few male friends who I ever had any romantic interest in; and the ones I did have romantic interest in, are happily committed to another person. I am happily committed to sharing my life with HUD; therefore I have not any sort of romantic/flirting interest with any other!  

I lost a great deal of self-confidence when I was recovering from the TBI. It is pretty much returned…until I’m around catty females. I mean, before, I was able to just take the attitudes with a grain of salt, and not allow it to affect me in any way. I would actually go out of my way to be nice to the female(s)…but, now that I am back to being “me” and I don’t allow my lack of self-confidence to show too much; for the most part, I am finding that females simply dislike me.

girl fight meme

So, perhaps, it is due to how I like myself…and I don’t care if others like me (at least I make it appear that way). I used to believe that women did not like me, because I was flirty with their man. I would not aim to flirt, but I accepted that my natural charm seemed flirty to them. I’ve come to the conclusion, that women just don’t like me.

stupid girls
Last night, while hanging out with friends of HUD’s; three other women were present. About six males were there, three of whom are in a relationship/marriage three other women who were also there, and one other male who is engaged to a female who was not present. We will call that guy, ‘Stallone.’

Stallone’s fiancée and I are cool. She is very accepting of me; always is the first to go for a hug when we see the other. She is very REAL; I met her in person almost one year ago, and she added me on ‘Facebook’ the day after .

Stallone seemed to not want to associate with me…I’m guessing because his best friend’s wife has expressed her negative feelings about me. The first time I met Stallone; he was super friendly with me, and he always is when his fiancée is present. Stallone’s best friend is ‘Damien.’ Even Damien did not want to talk to me; he was keeping his distance. Damien and Stallone, both were incredibly friendly and chatty with me the first night I met the two men.

I spent all of last night, sitting next to Faye, and chatting with her. The other two women who were present, sat in chairs across the porch from Faye and me. Those women did not talk to us…I’m not saying that they ignored us; we 4 just did not associate much.  It wasn’t purposeful, we four women just didn’t have anything to talk about last night; so we each chatted exclusively with the woman who we were originally sitting.

girl fight not mulan

The person’s house we were at last night (‘Faye’), is always incredibly “real” with me…she is friendly, and always happy to see me. She told me that she loved me before HUD and I left to go home last night. Faye said that I should come visit her during the day (while our other half’s are at work) sometime.

HUD and I were the last to leave for the evening; neither of the women who left said ‘good bye’ to me, but HUD was given a good bye. Faye hugged both HUD and me, inviting the two of us to come back over to see her and her husband. I am guessing that the reason Damien’s wife, “Victoria,” does not talk to me and gives me the ‘woman’s cold shoulder’ is because “Sherri’s” daughter hates me. Therefore, Sherri, is not at all accepting of me any longer. Although, I am not at all worried about Sherri failing to say goodbye; she was consoling her husband…whose mother had just been buried.

HUD tells me that if Sherri’s daughter has a problem with you…you can understand why Sherri isn’t as nice to you.” No. No, I cannot…HUD makes excuses for Sherri because they have a long friendship, and she has been a good friend to him for years (I understand, and am not aiming to make HUD choose “sides”).  I do not tell HUD how I feel in an attempt to make him mad at Sherri. If Sherri’s daughter has an immature problem with me, because she is a teenager, I do not excuse Sherri for behaving the way she does with me now. We are adults; if Sherri dislikes me, she needs to talk to me about it–not use her daughter’s teenage woes as a passive-aggressive way to make me feel like an outcast!

But, I suppose I should speak to Sherri as opposed to writing in my blog. I haven’t a problem with talking to Sherri about my feelings…but, I do not wish to anger HUD. I know how much she means to him, and I do not ever want to try to make him choose…so, I decide to type my feelings out, instead of talking about them.

I just need to vent. I will probably be asked not to blog about this IF HUD does, in fact, read my blog. I have to get my feelings out. Else, I will hold them in, and express them in other ways…NEGATIVE ways.

oh, I am enlightened because I find that no matter what I do…the majority of women hate me. I could care less, really. And HUD is wrong about the reason males like me; I am flippin’ cool…and REAL.

“Why must you continue to do the opposite of what I am thinking!?”

iron skillet okra
Distractions are not good for me, especially considering my “mental issues.” Since the TBI, I haven’t been able to multi-task often; and when I can multi-task…things must be simple, without background noise(s), or distracting shiny objects (I am not trying to make a joke; rather, I am überly serious).

Tonight, as I was cooking dinner, HUD informed me that our friend Rae, was going to come by for a few minutes. Because HUD prepared me, I was not at all surprised when she appeared at our open front screen door and walked in.

She was waving and Rae was smiling broadly right before she opened the door and stepped inside. I returned the happy gesture, and smiled at her while gesturing for her to “come on in!”FRIENDS BLONDE AND BRUNETTE .png

Rae walked in the front door, and over to me in the kitchen as I was standing in front of the (gas) stove, frying pork chops and boiling ears of corn. I had HUD roll up croissants and put them into the oven (I realize that is a strange combination…but my love asked for the canned croissants). All I had left was to finish frying the okra, and we would have dinner ready to eat when the croissants were finished cooking.

[I think I had water on  the stove to get ready to boil for INSTANT mashed potatoes (the brand I buy is actually good. Still, I prefer the real thing, as I planned to purchase real potatoes when I ventured out to go grocery shopping the following day).]

HUD had gone to the restroom, leaving Rae and me in the kitchen with the Princess and Mr. Whiskey. Rae was saying “hello” to Coco and Whiskey as they were excitedly jumping at her feet. She and I were talking to one another about mundane things when I started removing the okra from the iron skillet and putting it onto a paper towel in a covered, glass, dish.

iron skillet okra 2

I then began to take the remaining FROZEN breaded okra, and I dumped it all into the frying pan (it was pre-battered, and frozen/stuck together–I didn’t see any use in trying to pry it apart any more than I had already done with the first pan; so I put the ice block of breaded okra into the iron skillet to fry it).   I thought nothing of it because I was too focused on conversing with Rae.  

As I mentioned at the beginning of this story…I should only concentrate on one thing at a time–especially because I had never cooked FROZEN fried okra previously. The remaining FROZEN okra was stuck together in a big block of coldness.

I proceeded to dump the entire block of FROZEN breaded okra into the iron skillet…of course, within 2 seconds, a large flame ignited. The flame rapidly began a mini indoor bonfire!

As I immediately started to pull the skillet off of the eye; in the same instant, I thought better of it, and began to push the skillet back onto the eye of the stove with the potholder I was present in mind enough to obtain from the nearby drawer. I do not really recall this, but hearing Rae’s recollection of the events causes me to be able to tell this story correctly.

Rae tells this part of the story much better than I feel I will relay it here. She says as the skillet was beginning to travel off of the stove, I was pushing it back (a larger flame had begun to dance in the skillet by now). Rae says that she was watching the skillet inch closer to the edge of the stove, and I just kept pushing it back onto the eye. Rae says that she was thinking:


Rae says as she stood there, witnessing the fire actively start a mini-inferno from the skillet; she was watching in awe/horror, as she was thinking;

“Brandy, just push it back onto the eye! Don’t let the pan fall onto the floor…the whole kitchen is going to catch on fire, then!” (SIC)

As she was standing helplessly behind me;  I was expecting Rae to swoop in and save me from the impending horror. Sometime while this was going on, HUD had stepped back into the kitchen. Neither of us women could say anything to HUD; we were both so horrorstruck, that we continued in our quest of doing nothing and saying nothing; yet, assuming that the other person was going to swoop in and save the day, er…night!

FIRE iron skillet 1

By about the third time the skillet, had inched itself forward, I decided to give up my quest and allow it to migrate to the floor. The skillet swiftly fell onto the linoleum floor…

There is an almost invisible burn mark/ring…

and as Rae reminded me, it was a good thing that the iron skillet fell with the bottom facing up and the contents of the pan on the trapped on the floor underneath it, else we would have had a much larger problem…A FIRE!

As the skillet fell; the fire was actively burning. I watched helplessly, and sort of dumbstruck, as gravity encouraged the pan to travel lower. Even more absurd, I watched it as the fire was still ablaze inside, and  I thought:

“Well, it’s hot, and I do not want to burn my face if I pick it up…maybe it won’t burn the linoleum too badly. If it does, HUD is wanting to remodel the kitchen, anyway.”

I assumed that if I were to pick up the skillet; the fire would blaze back up and this time into a much larger area…and burn not only my face but Rae’s face as well. I recall HUD being in the room while this was happening, and he stepped toward the skillet…I thought, “Oh, phew. A man…he’ll take care of this.” Not even one second later, I realized that HUD did not have a way to pick up the skillet (plus, that thought is completely dissimilar to my beliefs). iron skillet BMP

HUD was standing about 3-4 feet away from the drawer where the pot holders are kept; it was then, I became cognizant of the fact that I WAS STILL HOLDING A POTHOLDER! So, I proceeded to pick up the pan. I felt as if I were a superhero; I admit that I heard a super-hero score resounding in my brain. I was a bit disappointed when HUD &/or Rae did not cheer or at least give me a round of applause when I accomplished the task, and”saved the day;” which made me that much more confused that HUD nor Rae were as excited (relieved) as I was.

This was truly a moment where everything seems as if it is happening incredibly quick, yet the occurrences feel as if they are being dragged through used motor oil as it is happening. My friend, Rae, helped me clean up MY mess before she left. I will forever be grateful to her for that.  I do remember telling her that it was not her responsibility to clean up my mess; her reply was something akin to, “Hey, it’s no big deal…I am not going to allow you to pick this up all alone. I mean, I was watching the pan fall!”

Rae stayed a few more minutes…as the two of us were giggling and recounting the events to HUD. I was thanking her, and she was telling me that she did nothing! She insisted that all she had done was prepare to witness the impending fire that we both knew was coming.

I now recall that friend helped me with sewing more than he did cooking in Home Ec….cooking was my female friends mostly). (Only now as I am writing this, the following morning, do I remember that I was cooking the okra with olive oil! Not that it matters now.)

Throughout all of this hub-bub; our babies were staying out of the way. It is only after Rae & I cleaned (even if I was insisting that she leave the mess to me), that they decided to try to eat what I missed when I was sweeping the floor. Needless to say, HUD’s and my appetites were missing when we were settled down enough to eat. So, all of that was for nothing.

fire iron skillet 2

I now understand what people say when an ignorant accident occurs by insisting;

“It all happened so fast!”Lessons learned:

  1. Do not buy pre-made/pre-battered vegetables (even if the vegetables are not able to be found at a curb market or in a friend’s garden because they are not “in season”).
  2. Friends will understand if I seemingly ignore them while I’m focusing on something…especially if the thing in which I am doing involves FIRE!
  3. Every time I clean something; be prepared for HUD or myself to dirty it up within a couple of hours (I had just mopped the linoleum in the kitchen and the floor in the living room/hall, as well as the bathrooms earlier today. HUD had walked on the WET kitchen/utility room floors prior to the incident described in this blog).
  4. Rae is a great friend.  I guess you had to be here to understand what prompts me to say that so often in this text.

Yes, HUD, I did write the story and recount what happened; get used to being married to a writer!  


“Welcome to the World of Traumatic Brain Injury” by Jennifer White


Welcome to the World of Traumatic Brain Injury

By Jennifer White

As a little girl, I played with dolls and dressed them like a mother would. I would also carefully pick out a few other dolls and called them the mother’s children. I dressed the mother and her children how I thought a mother and children should look and, oh yeah –I added a puppy in the mix that I named Hershey!

As long as I can remember, I always wanted children. I dreamed of how I would dress them, where I would take them, and the hobbies I would encourage. Then, on July 28, 2000 the dream of having a child changed for both my husband and I, after I had a massive stroke, brain surgery, and a comprehensive stay in rehabilitation where I had to relearn all the rudimentary skills I learned as a child…how to walk, talk, swallow, eat, make a bed, boil water, and push things forward. In rehab, I learned how to push my own wheelchair forward, walk with the aid of a walker, nourish my frail and stick-like body with food that I struggled to eat,and perform light housework. I went from being a VP for a top nonprofit fundraising company to a permanently disabled person.

(WOMEN SHOULD NOT WORK OUTSIDE THE HOME) After the stroke, I learned to live in the world of the disabled. While you are waking up,having your first cup of coffee and remembering the things you might have forgotten over your holiday break, there is a disabled person with a traumatic brain injury who is nursing a sleep hangover, putting on his/her adaptive equipment, and trying to remember what goes first: breakfast or lunch, shoes or socks, shampoo or conditioner. While you are driving to work, a disabled person is struggling to hold his/her child without dropping the baby. Please don’t forget that there are people in the world that are not like you (EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE “LIKE YOU”): someone who might need a hand tying their shoes or just hearing the word “hello”.

Before I had an acquired brain injury (ABI), I did not understand what brain damage was like. After the brain injury I was challenged with getting dressed in the morning without falling, walking without veering to the right or left (MORE THAN 50 YEARS AFTER MY TBI, 40 DAY COMA, COMPLETE PARALYSIS…, I CANT WALK -WITH OR WITHOUT MY BRACES ON- WITHOUT DOING SO. BUT I RIDE MY BICYCLE 25-30 MILES A DAY WITH NO PROBLEMS) when my destination was straight ahead and learning that my future was in big part not completely up to me anymore. I had to let go of some of the control I so passionately struggled to get before my ABI.

Most importantly, I had to let people help me. Once thinking that asking for help was weakness, I now believe that there are people in my life that want to help me and now I let them. It feels much better to have allies  in life than going it alone. After the brain injury, I lost my mother to cancer after losing my father to the same disease only a few years prior. My world was rocked and I lost the last of two very important people in my life. I am thankful every day that I have my husband to help me through this very difficult time. I was recently diagnosed with asthma, a relatively minor lung condition that had gone undiagnosed (sic) for years. I was sad that I could not call my mother and tell her how bad I felt or how scared I was before it was diagnosed. But I did have my husband who I rely on to support me when I am sick and well. I learned after the brain injury that it is okay to rely on people and is actually pivotal to healing.

Whether it is a friend, a family member, a relative, the clergy, a physician, or someone else. Let them in, let them help you. Life is unpredictable. I never thought when I was young that I would be on Medicare at age 37 and on long term disability at 37 years old…never experience motherhood, never be a grandmother…never see my children graduate from college, get married, have their own children. It is now my reality and a reality that I have had to accept over the last 15 years. It stings! It burns! But, I am still thankful I did not  die when I was given a 4% chance of living. I have gained new skills (IT IS A DAILY CHORE TO LEARN THE NEW ONES THAT COME TO US UNBIDDEN) and have learned to appreciate things I once never noticed, and I love people more than I ever showed before the acquired brain injury.

Jennifer White is a traumatic brain injury survivor from St. Louis,Missouri. When she’s not writing about her life as a survivor, she enjoys spending time with her family and of course, quilting.


My brain–

yes, it is damaged.

I think I would be better off somewhere (like a mental institution) I cannot hurt someone or hurt myself emotionally.

Not insane–

no, I’m just misunderstood.

I think because I was fine in the beginning, it is believed that I now PURPOSELY hurt people.

I love–

yes, that is why I react violently.

I think that I say things I do not mean because  I use my words as a my weapon – I always feel as if I am not being heard.

I have pushed her away, AGAIN–

no, I have not done it consciously.

I think she believes that it is now my easy excuse, she refuses to accept that I am not who I was.

I have pushed him away, for the first (and last) time.

yes, he thought I was innocent.

I think he thought was ready for more with me.

Why will no one accept that I am brain damaged? My emotions are not controllable by just me. I need other people to realize that the actions/reactions I have are able to be dealt with—it just takes patience; then they are seemingly controlled, because of the way I am “handled.”

I AM worth it…I am hurting and angry words/actions happen when I am in pain.

Maybe I should beg him to take me back…and be unhappy where “r’s” are pretty much nonexistent; instead of keeping her so pissed because I’m here and give the REAL man relief.